Paola Torres Núñez del Prado

Although the goal was that my work would be connected to the place where Interface Inagh is, in practice, I did not have that in mind when I started the piece “Signal@Forest” as, for once, I wanted to approach art creation in a free way, without the usual constraints that my own art practice seems to have imposed on myself: solid research backing the work, a very important reason to do it (as most material artworks require resources that could imply an impact to this planet), a complex technical framework, to think where it would be presented and for whom… This time, I just grabbed one of the Andean-imitation textiles I like to paint on nowadays, some acrylic paint, and departed from the material itself without an idea of what to do (no previous sketch or mental image beforehand). The painting technique that I have developed consists of seamlessly integrating the painting into the base textile, in such a way that the viewer of the piece cannot easily distinguish where the paint ends and where the textile starts. As I usually say, I am really a painter, although most people do not recognize me as such. And this is something that is not surprising, as I have had quite a complex relationship with painting for half of my life, distancing myself from such practice for years. This technique, which finally unites the layer of paint with its support (the canvas), also has re-united me to paint again.
I like to be challenged by color and form. The textile painting that I came out with is quite bold in this sense: colors are bright and extreme in their combination, yet they seemed to work quite well together. When seeing the work digitally, Daniel Fyffe, a Swedish-American painter/friend, commented that it was like:
“A glitch in the matrix unifying nature and the hopes of our ancestors.”
I have been working around glitch art since 2007. At this point, it has permeated most of my work, including my sound pieces.
So, in seeking this multi-layered unification of matter (and not) through paint and textile, I came to realize that deleting a line of code in order to generate a visual glitch in a digital image was very similar to taking a thread from a textile. It was the irruption of a pattern. And it is in the emergence of this pattern/antipattern dynamic structure that I recognize life and its finite nature. But also, it reflects my own identity, the erasing of my Andean ancestry, the lack of data, the errors that arise in its reconstruction, and the inability to ever achieve it fully, as the cultural re-inclusion, at this point, would be just as the imitation textiles that I use to paint over. It would be an interpretation of something perceived from afar, even if such a distance is physically near.
Can there be beauty in such a loss?
The final work was not presented to people but to the trees in Connemara. The central dark and light greens of the mostly fuchsia piece ended up being the same color as the forests of Ireland after the rain. The lines of the textile followed the tree trunks of the evergreen pines, yet they were interrupted by the distortion. The textile is physically glitched (unthreaded, ripped) towards its ends, yet the unraveling is stopped by three-dimensional knots. Such a material signal in the forest is a voice that progressively turns into a shredding scream that is stopped by the silencing, soothing knots, passing through the pattern/antipattern phases: order, chaos, and organization.